The wonders of modern technology have made it possible for people to purchase anything from anywhere. That includes homes! Whether they’re searching for a new home in a distant state or even country, these long-distance home buyers are using the internet and other means to purchase a home they never saw in person. With the prevalence of high-quality photography and videos, as well as sites such as google maps, it has made it easier to narrow down the search. Traditionally, when searching for homes from a long distance, time and resources were needed in order to travel to the new hometown to visit properties in person. With the advent of so many technology features, that need for a road trip has significantly decreased. Purchasing your next home sight unseen might seem like a strange idea at first, but it does have some benefits. Already owning your new home before you arrive in a new location gives you a great starting place to help you get settled, allowing you to move your belongings and get settled quickly.
The first step in any real estate purchase is finding a realtor you can trust in the new area where you wish to move. This is especially important when you’re shopping for a new home remotely and need the real estate agent to be your eyes and ears, your “boots on the ground” local expert. You will have to be able to trust their assessment of a property measured against your wants and needs. Your agent will provide you links to virtual tours of the property if any are offered, and can help schedule a meeting where you can use a video sharing app like FaceTime to give you a tour of the home themselves. While virtual tours are great, these one-on-one tours with an agent allow for two-way communication and serve as a fantastic opportunity to explore the property as if you were there. You can ask for closer looks, investigate any concerns you may have with the property, and discuss the potential for changes you may want to make to the property. Realtors can help point out any details you might have missed, and can voice any concerns they find while on the call. Establishing good communication and dialog with your realtor is crucial to finding a new place to call “home”.
Friends and family live in the area where you are moving, they can be a useful addition to your home search team. If available, they can join the realtor on a tour of the property and stand in as a second set of eyes. While the cameras available today are fantastic in terms of quality, they still don’t quite match the ability of the human eye to notice out-of-place elements like poorly hung cabinets, low quality paint, or uneven floors. Sometimes, a property’s negative- or even positive- qualities don’t always come across on camera. Another benefit to a friend or family member being on site is that they know you better than the agent, and can sometimes get a better feel for what you’ll like or dislike in a given property.
As always, whether having personally toured a property or if you are buying remotely, it is always recommended to get a professional home inspection completed on any property. While realtors, friends and family can notice larger problems, there’s always the potential for smaller, yet-to-be-revealed problems lying just below the surface. A professional inspection is a valuable tool in assessing the property in that it can often call out these hazards before closing.
Another benefit to working with a realtor is their network of professionals that they can tap to further consult on any additions or renovations you may be considering for the home. For example the work and costs involved in installing a pool in the yard or adding a deck. Experts in their fields can offer good advice on what can be reasonably added to the property, and what limitations it may have in the future.
When the time comes for you to move in, be prepared for the unexpected. There will always be a few things you didn’t expect when you’ve purchased a home unseen. However, make the best out of the situation and stay positive. When you have a good pre-purchase team, it really is possible to find your dream home, even if you can’t see it yourself!